Where to get some good deals on lab stuff

In my previous post I mentioned the Iowa Hybridoma Bank as a great place to find validated antibodies at incredible prices (its sponsored by NIH). Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde then pointed out that UC Davis and NINDS and NIMH have an operation going called NeuroMab where you can get some totally fly antibodies for Neuroscience research at some bargain bin prices (I got a few myself and saved a bundle). Next, Freddie Mac, up in Canada, pointed out that a company called D-Mark Biosciences has quality reagents at the right price (but only for hosers North of the border).

Let’s keep it going shall we. If you know a place to get quality products at great prices drop a line in the comments (don’t be shy Canadians, we’ll have a Canada section too — after all, I’m all about Canada you know). As we build up a list I’ll create a separate resource page here on the old blog. Hopefully this can become a useful resource for all of us.

The cheap stuff page is up

11 responses to “Where to get some good deals on lab stuff

  1. Hey what an awesome idea to have a separate page on this… I’ll have to ask my tech where she gets the best deals- because she is a master at it- I’ll send you any additions to your page!

  2. I have previously received reagents for free by requesting them from NIH. Some resources for folks in infectious disease (such as antibodies, anti-viral drugs, bacterial strains etc) can be obtained for free here:


    Also NCI has a rather large small molecule library (containing many compounds that have been studied well and their mechanism of action is known here:


    The last site also lists a number of other repositories available to researchers.

    I have used the NCI one with good luck. You tell them what and how much you want, and they ship it to you pretty quickly.

  3. JP,
    Great idea for such a site.
    This may be old news to many but it was a revelation to me from a couple of years ago—Look around for deals on used and reconditioned lab equipment; I have found some great deals and saved a bunch of money on everything from microscopes to incubators to imaging equipment—you name it. Sites that I have used and find useful are Cambridge Scientific, Biosurplus, American Instrument Exchange. (I am not affiliated with any of these vendors–I run an R&D start-up, and found these sites by googling “used lab equip”)
    The equipment typically comes with some decent warranty, plenty enough for you to test it and ensure quality/functionality. Sometimes, you can bargain with them further on price too—if something is listed for weeks unsold, it is in their interest to compromise on price to get the item to move. You can (and should) also ask for them to provide close-up pictures of the actual item up for sale–they usually do.
    If I had bought everything new when I set up my lab, I could not have afforded half the equipment I have today.

  4. I guess I can contribute the fact that NIDA supplies a range of things of interest to their researchers for free.


    The NIDA Drug Supply Program is administered by the Chemistry & Physiological Systems Research Branch. In addition to funding research in drug abuse, addiction, prevention, and treatment, NIDA facilitates such research to accomplish its mission by providing chemicals and research probes that are either unavailable, difficult to obtain, or very expensive to buy to researchers. In addition, this program also provides analytical services for the analysis of researchers experimental samples.

  5. Another one–apparently some Tocris people got fed up with Tocris and made their own company, with lower priced drugs. Ascent Scientific, ascentscientific.com
    We’ve ordered one or two things. For example, D-AP5, 50 mg is $257 at Ascent, $546 at Tocris.

    Love the idea for the site.

  6. Great stuff so far everyone. Let’s keep it going, the page is building!

  7. Absolutely great idea. How about another page recommending equipment. For example, in neurophysiology there are lots of competing A to D systems that have a wide price range. Some options are much cheaper than others and work perfectly well for certain kinds of experiments. I am sure you guys know who I am referring to!
    Also, while you are at it, do you know where I can get my hands on a really inexpensive, perhaps used, mechanical micro-manipulator. I think I will need both coarse & fine for patch clamping cultured neurons on an inverted scope? I am on the East Coast.

  8. I tried some stuff from Ascent but it didn’t work as well as stuff from Tocris or Sigma.

    I guess that whilst we all want a good deal (!) sometimes things are just too cheap and corners have been cut.

    I won’t be using them again.

  9. For the record, workingtoohard’s posting came from a Tocris IP address so take that advice with a grain of salt (or maybe the entire shaker). We use Ascent products and have never noticed any differences.

  10. Also for used lab equipment check out IET at http://www.ietltd.com. Great deals there!

  11. Hi,
    Any ideas where to get cheap electrophysiology apparatus? Esp, Patch clamp amplifiers?

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